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Sunday, 21 March 2010

H.M.S. “BASSET”

HMS BASSET Ship No 214

H.M.S. “Basset” was an order from the Admiralty for a first of class armed trawler of the “Dog Class” She was designed and built by Henry Robb Shipbuilders with an obvious eye to the coming hostilities that developed into World War II.
Her keel was laid down on the 6th March 1935 and she was launched on 28th September 1935.


Then being commissioned into the Royal Navy on 29th November 1935.
She had a displacement of 461 tons with a length overall of 150 feet and beam of 27 feet and 6 inches. She had a top speed of 12 knots and a crew compliment of around 35. Being armed initially with a 4 inch gun for’d and assorted machine guns.


Citizen Sailors
Amongst her many exploits during World War II she managed to rescue a Hurricane pilot during the battle of Britain.
S/L Harold Fenton of No 238 Squadron was injured when he ditched his Hurricane I (P2947) into the Channel off the Isle of Wight on the 8th August 1940 at 13:40hrs near a German observation plane. He was looking for two of his pilots who had been reported missing in the Channel. He was rescued by H.M.S Basset.

H.M.S. "Basset"

H.M.S. “Basset” – an armed trawler, the pioneer of all subsequent trawlers – was the second ship to be built at Leith for the Royal Navy.
Kriegsmarine Coastal Forces  
 
Completed before the war, her service was uneventful until April 1942 when she was attacked by four Messerschmitt 110’s. “Basset” returned such spirited fire that one of the aircraft exploded in mid air. The second was so badly damaged that the machine turned half a loop before the pilot could recover control. Pieces fell off and the aeroplane began to lose height. The polio tried to make the English coast, but crashed into the sea. There were no casualties among the crew and the ship sustained no damage. Her Commander reported that she stood up very well to the bombing attacks.

(Taken from the story, “Leith Built Ships on War Service”.)

H.M.S. Basset

4 comments:

Stuart said...

My father served aboard Basset during WWII. As far as I know Basset and her crew were mentioned in dispatches one several occasions, indeed I have one of the notifications to Basset which I could scan and provide to those interested.

Stuart Kirby

Robbs Built Ships said...

Hi Stuart,
We would like to have a copy of this to go onto HMS BASSET pages on the website of the blog at www.leithshipyards.com

Many thanks

Stuart said...

Hello,

I do apologise. I have not been on the site for over a year for all sorts of reasons I shall not bore you with. I am currently on a business trip and indeed was prompted to look again at the site as I saw the news about the Arctic Medal on the BBC web today. My father also served on Arctic convoy duty, but I do not know if this was on Basset or another ship.

When I return home I will find and scan the document and post to the site.

Regards

Stuart Kirby

Stuart said...

Hello,

Apologies, I have not been to the site for a long time and only just saw your comment. I am on a business trip at present and will scan and post when I return later next week.

Regards

Stuart Kirby